A truly post-mortem post considering how the story went.
I figured I'd get on here, and talk about the whole process of writing a story and posting it on the internet as I went. It went pretty well, in my mind. There was a time or two that I felt a little embarrassed about what I was writing. When I included sex scenes, I felt a little weird posting them. I guess I'm a little prudish when it comes to that sort of thing. I'll joke about that kind of stuff or worse on the Dunesteef podcast, but it feels a little different for some reason when I post it in a story that is entirely of my own making.
Luckily, however, it didn't effect me enough to cause me to write the story any differently than I would have. I never had that thought in the back of my mind as I wrote that I was going to post this, so I'd better not go there. That's good, because I always want to tell the story as honestly as I can. Whatever my characters want to do, they should do. And yes, I know it's my mind making them do these things, but if I fetter my mind with rules or fears, then the story will certainly suffer. I think readers will notice that it's not honest, and will feel that the story is not as good as it could be because of it.
One thing that I did for this story for the first time was write the entire thing using Google Drive. After I had an issue earlier in the year with losing a thumbdrive that I kept stories on, several people suggested various cloud servers that I could use to store and access my work on. Since I already had some experience using Google Drive with other things, I chose to use it.
It worked really well. I loaded up the apps on all my computers, phones, and tablets, and was able to use any one of them to write the story whenever I had a minute to do so. For the most part, I did it while sitting at a desk in front of a computer, like I always have, but for at least one of the days, I used my Samsung Galaxy tablet and the keyboard attachment that it came with. That was cool. I really liked being able to write wherever I wanted to like that. I even took my tablet with me when we went camping this weekend so that I could finish the story up there if I got a chance to write. Of course, I didn't get a chance, but it would have been cool if I had.
The one drawback that I found to writing the story live online was my infernal need for immediate approval. I think I told people not to comment specifically on the story when I started out, because I knew that if they did, I might take whatever they said to heart to much, and think I needed to rework the story. That has killed my progress in the past with other stories. But, despite that, I really wanted people to comment on the story. I would check for comments often, even though I knew there wouldn't be any. At one point, you might remember, I begged everyone who was reading just to comment and let me know that they were there, that they were reading. "Just say hi," I begged.
It didn't work, of course. The only people who commented and told me they were reading were the same people who had already commented in the past, and I already knew were reading. Maybe they're the only people who were reading. I still don't know. But it shouldn't matter. I shouldn't care. I shouldn't be so damned needy. Am I writing to get praise from others? Or am I writing to because I love to tell stories and feel I have something to contribute to the human race? Probably both, I suppose. But I really need to work on becoming more of a self-starter, and less dependent on other's approval for my motivation.
Another thing I found interesting was how the story started to affect me. The trajectory of the story was planned out months ahead. All the way back when the idea came to me, it quickly plotted itself out in my mind with the ending going the way it did. But when I finally sat down and started writing, I had trouble doing what needed to be done. I really liked Simi's character, and didn't want to do what had to be done to her. And I felt like a monster when I got to the actual ending. Maybe it's because I have a young child at home again, and I couldn't help thinking of him as a corollary to Trevon. I don't know. All I do know is that, although I've heard many writers like J.K. Rowling and Stephen King for example talk about that happening to them, I've never had that happen to me before. It was pretty weird.
So, did I like it enough to do it again? I think I did. I think in a few days or so, I'm going to try starting up another story, and writing it live on the blog a second time. Maybe I'll do it that way always. It seemed to help keep me writing. Knowing that there were at least a few people out there who were reading along, and wanted to hear what happened next was a big motivator. Making time to write has always been my biggest problem, so if this helps, then I ought to take advantage of it.
I was thinking that perhaps this next time, I might publish all my pre-planning work as well. But I can't decide if that's a good idea or not. It would certainly take the suspense out of the story for anyone who was reading along. Which I'd rather not do. Maybe I could write it all up before the story, then post it on the blog after the story is done. I don't know. Let me know what you think of that idea. I'm thinking of posting it, just because that will make me put the work in to actually complete it. I wrote this last story half by plan and half by the seat of my pants, and I think it could have been even better if I'd planned more fully.
So, what should my next story be? I'm thinking of writing the time-travel story idea I told Rish about a year or so ago. I don't have a title for it yet, so I'll have to think about it. Hopefully, I'll get one before I start writing the story, so you'll have something to call it from the beginning. But that doesn't always work. Sometimes the title reveals itself to you when you're writing the story, and not before. And, sadly for me, sometimes the title never becomes obvious at all.
Okay, so, finally, I ask you for any comments on the story. What worked? What didn't work? What parts bored you? What parts excited you? Where did you see typos? What suggestions do you have? I know some (or all?) of you who were reading have given me some comments already, but if you haven't, I'd love to hear them. Did you like the title? I thought about changing it to "True Dreams" at one point, but I think that would give away too much too early, so I decided I'd stick with "Fireflies". Good decision? Let me know whatever you think. Thanks.